I have two black labs that are my joy. They are always there for me when I need a little pick me up. They are A LOT of work, especially my baby girl Mishka. Many of my friends have been blessed with the antics of this little girl. As much as she drives me crazy, she gives me love that is unconditional and nothing compared to that which a human could give. I can only hope that you, my reader, has felt that level of love.
What happens when you have a dog that is your partner. He is your backup. He is your best friend. You spend every waking hour side by side and in most cases, every sleeping moment. He goes to work with you and gets excited each and every time he can hear the whir of your red and blues turn on. He knows it is time to go catch the bad guy.. trust me, I hear through the radio every time his handler keys up his mike. It makes me smile. You can just hear the excitment in that big guys bark and whine. He knows it is time to play!
I am talking about our loved officer, the K-9. The relationship between a Police Officer and his K-9 partner is very unique. They train together for hours and hours so that when it is time to work, they are a team in every sense of the word. They trust each other with their lives.
There are many that consider the use of K-9's unconstitutional, inhumane, or animal cruelty. I tell these people to take a moment and see the good that comes with having these four-legged heroes out on the front lines. Take a moment and see the special relationship and love between a handler and his dog. How many criminals are apprehended with the use of a K-9 instead of deadly force having to be used? How many drugs and firearms have been taken off the street and out of the access of our children because of these wonderful animals?
I'd like to share a story with you of one of our local officers and his very special K-9, Koda.
It was the late evening hours on New Years Day, 2010. Our dispatch agency received a report of a burglary in progress. Officers from several local agencies responded. When they arrived, the three suspects ran on foot. Officers obviously pursued. One of the responding officers was Officer Todd and his K-9 partner, Koda. Koda was out front where he loved to be. He was doing what he was born to do. He was in hot pursuit of the bad guy. As Officer Todd and Koda came around the corner, one of the suspects turned and shot Koda twice. Officers returned fire, killing the suspect. The other two suspects were also caught shortly after. Unfortunately, Officer Koda was killed in the line of duty. There is no doubt that Officer Todd would have been hit if Koda wasn't there. Koda saved his best friends life so that Officer Todd could continue doing what he does best... catching the bad guys. Officer Koda was given a full memorial service with Police Honors. Hundreds of officers from all over the state and as far away as Nevada attended.
So the next time you see a K-9 and his handler, say thank you and remember how wonderful these great animals are. They deserve our love, gratitude, and respect.
RIP Officer Koda ~~ You are loved and missed. You are a true Hero.